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Issue of 9/1/2010

Cover Story:

End of summer festival freak-out
by Metro Times staff
Jazz Fest in Detroit, Arts Beats & Eats in Royal Oak, and the Labor Day Festival in Hamtramck


Candlebox vs. Saving Abel by Serene Dominic
What's the big indifference?

Cocked & loaded by Metro Times staff
Some flash, some boom appearing among the 170 acts at Arts, Beats and Eats

Compare and contrast by Robert Guttersohn
Can Detroit schools learn from Baltimore's turnaround?

Jazz Fest staying power by Charles L. Latimer
How Barry Harris and Roy Haynes found their niches

More festive listening by W. Kim Heron
With chops, Grammy awards even, if not the biggest names

Remembering Ron Allen by W. Kim Heron
'Godfather of open mics' and more

The Last Poet by Rayfield Allen Waller
Ron Allen: Portrait of a cultural worker

Tributaries by W. Kim Heron
Jazz Fest looks back to greats, known and less-so


Pilgrim's Progress by Bryant Franks (Cheat Code)
Why this video game tie-in will actually give you a nerdgasm

Food Stuff by Metro Times food staff (Food Stuff)
Soup at Spaudling, First Fridays at the Two-Way Inn, and more

Letters to the Editor by Metro Times readers (Letters to the Editor)
Detroit studies, populism and more

Metro Retro by Metro Times staff (Metro Retro)
Looking back over 30 years of Metro Times

Pot shot by News Hits staff (News Hits)
Detroit Election Commission's rejection of marijuana measure defies even stoner logic

Twice burned by News Hits staff (News Hits)
Marijuana raids could end up answering key legal questions

Night and Day by Megan O'Neil (Night and Day)

Let's make a deal by Jack Lessenberry (Politics and Prejudices)
When it comes to Michigan's supreme court, justice isn't blind

Fear of women by Dan Savage (Savage Love)
Sad sack just can't seem to get with women

Festing around by Metro Times food staff (Short Order)
Where to ingest the best at this weekend's fests

Keep on pushing by Larry Gabriel (Stir It Up)
King's legacy: If you don't keep marching, you start losing

For whom the Belle tolls by D'Anne and Laura Witkowski (Wonder Twins)
The Wonder Twins bounce around the island



Teenage Dream - Katy Perry Reviewed by Michael Gallucci (Record)

Strange Weather, Isn't It? - !!! Reviewed by Chris Parker (Record)

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack - Various Artists Reviewed by Michael Gallucci (Record)

31 Minutes to Takeoff Reviewed by Michael Gallucci (Record)


The Last Exorcism Reviewed by Paul Knoll (Movie)
The Last Exorcism — which is only produced by Roth, but that’s enough — rides TV’s wave of mock-doc reality shows that “debunk” paranormal activity, sorta like Ghost Hunters meets Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files. Cotton Marcus (who is actually played with panache by Patrick Fabian) is a Baton Rouge minister and one-time child evangelist. Marcus teams up with a documentary film crew to show tricks of his trade — namely using sound effects, slight of hand and good ol’ fashioned religious histrionics — while performing an exorcism. (Are these intentional nods to 1972’s Oscar-winning doc Marjoe, which exposed one-time child evangelist Marjoe Gortner?) Marcus is the good guy motivated by a news clipping in which a child died while being exorcised. Marcus randomly chooses the Sweetzer family from letters he receives of folks looking for an exorcist. But when he and crew enter the family home, it’s quickly apparent that something’s very odd about the Sweetzers. Lewis Sweetzer has gone all fundamentalist Christian in the wake of his wife’s death; he pulled his kids from school, banned secular music, distrusts modern medicine and stopped attending church. The real action starts in the last 20 minutes when Nell is suddenly speaking in tongues, but we’ve seen it all before, and the motion-sick camerawork ruins most frights by obscuring everything behind what could be a Vaseline-smeared lens.

Takers Reviewed by Jeff Niesel (Movie)
The Takers are a group of criminals who drive Porsches and live in high-rise condos. They pick and choose heists with discretion. So when old pal Ghost (played by ex-con rapper T.I.) returns from prison with a plan to hijack an armored truck, they’re a bit suspicious. But because Ghost used to be part of their crew before he got nabbed during a bank robbery, they decide to go along with him. Not so surprisingly, things don’t go exactly as planned — especially since a relentless cop with anger-management issues (Matt Dillon) is hot on their tail.

Animal Kingdom Reviewed by Jeff Meyers (Movie)
This menacing Aussie family crime drama makes clear that bad guys, no matter how bold, operate in a world of suffocating desperation. Like animals backed into a corner, they’ll react with brutal self-serving savagery, but the fear is ever-present. This is the toxic food chain into which 17-year-old Josh (dull-eyed James Frechette) is dropped. After his mum dies of a heroin overdose, the teen is taken in by sweet-voiced Grandma Smurf (Jacki Weaver) and the Codys, her three bank-robbing sons. Targeted by rogue police who’ll all-too happily assassinate before asking questions, the family lives like caged rats. And the head rat is eldest Uncle Pope (Ben Mendelsohn), a ferret-faced psychopath whose lack of common sense is matched only by his utter ruthlessness. When police suspect his involvement in the murder of two officers, a senior inspector (Guy Pearce) identifies Josh as the family’s weakest link and puts pressure on him to turn. This traps the kid between a rock and a very hard place. On one side he’s got violence-prone uncles, on the other, corrupt cops. Worse, the film’s third act reveals that Grandma Smurf is a compassionless lioness ready to devour her brood in order to get what she wants.


Vivio's Reviewed by Mel Small (Restaurant)
For more than 40 years, the Vivio family has been pouring suds and dishing out thick burgers to an unusually wide variety of neighborhood characters, tailgaters (shuttles provided) and produce shoppers from their venerable building in the heart of Eastern Market. Erected in 1892 to serve as a German community center, it soon became a tavern, placing it among the oldest structures in Detroit to continuously host a watering hole. Virtually all of the familiar items on the long menu are less than $10. Among the appetizers are five mussel choices, the most renowned of which float, along with celery chunks, in Bloody Mary mix, vodka and garlic sauce. Bottles of Vivio’s secret-recipe mix, which certainly perks up the sweet little mollusks, are available for purchase on-site as well as at specialty stores, along with their house-made mustard. The dinner-sized salads run the gamut from Jamaican jerk chicken to a large and crisp taco bowl harboring tangy ground beef tidbits mixed in with green onions, diced tomatoes and cheddar cheese, and accompanied by sour cream and a rather mild salsa. As for heartier fare, the burgers — cheese, bacon, Sante Fe, Cajun, bleu and the healthier salmon, veggie and buffalo — that come with a mound of slightly undercooked fries, rank among the city’s better renditions of that staple. To wash all this down, Vivio’s provides 12 beers on tap and 10 bottles, highlighted by Castello, a new-to-this-country, refreshing, light Italian lager ($3).